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Take a Break: It’s Soul Music Time!

January 22, 2014

rieu and singers

Okay, it’s cold, it’s January, and the holidays are only a memory (except for around my enhanced middle). Time for a time-out.

Do you love Sister Act?  And maybe Jesus, too? Here’s a version of “I Will Follow Him” that will stir your blood and soothe your soul. It’s from  André Rieu’s  “Under the Stars” concert in Maastricht, the violinist-conductor’s home town in the Netherlands. Mr. Rieu’s Johann Strauss Orchestra is a worldwide phenomenon, ranked among Billboard’s  top 25 touring groups for the past five years. His 112 concerts in 2009 brought in nearly $96 million, making him the world’s most successful male performer for the first half of the year, according to Billboard. His concerts feature classical and waltz music, with shots of pop, Broadway, folk, and gospel; punctuated with humor, “unorthodox frivolity” and various antics (according to Wikipedia); and dramatized with extravagant staging. (The 2008 tour  featured a life-sized reproduction of the 16th century castle later occupied by Empress Sisi, the popular wife of Franz Joseph I.)

His father, also named André Rieu, was conductor of the Maastricht Symphony Orchestra. Son André began studying violin at age five. He’s now quite adept with a 1667 Stradivarius. In 1988, at age 39, Mr. Rieu  created the Johann Strauss Orchestra and his own production company. The man now known as “The Waltz King” has been a rock star of good music ever since.

andre rieu stage

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Watching the audience have a blast is almost as entertaining as the music itself.  (Note the unused percussionists grooving in the back row of the orchestra.)

Just for fun, and because now you’re thinking about it, here’s the Sister Act version:

sister act

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And the original, secular Little Peggy March version, for us BOACAs (that’s Boomers of a Certain Age):

peggy march album

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The André Rieu performance in Maastricht, viral on YouTube with over 648,000 views to date,  included the Harlem Gospel Choir and the Soweto Gospel Choir, along with a special appearance by Sir Anthony Hopkins.  The trailer for the concert is a mini-good time in itself, and made me a new fan. Have a look:

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Now, wasn’t that fun?

You may now resume your regularly scheduled life, still in progress.

2 Comments leave one →
  1. Chris permalink
    January 23, 2014 3:56 am

    Wow! I had a blast with this….thank you!!!!! Chris Shields



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